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Okay, it's double-header time, as we come to some of the last of what could be called "blockbusters" for this year - and wow haven't we been treated to some prime cuts at this end of the year...!

Review: Real Steel...

May include spoilers... )

The Final Verdict... Not exactly requiring any intellectual exertion, but certainly a good dose of popcorn movie goodness with impressive effects. Good family fare, without being dumbed-down or "just for the kidz". Score: 8 / 10

The "Main Event" was still to come, however, and that came in the form of the Spielberg/Jackson(/Moffat) collaboration Tintin...etc I'll admit to being not entirely enthralled by the idea when the project was announced, but then came the trailers, and I became a believer...

Review: The Adventures Of Tintin - The Secret Of The Unicorn...

May include spoilers... )

The Final Verdict... Seems longer than it actually is, but that's no bad thing. Even better family fodder than Real Steel, and a definite contender for the "If You see Only One Movie This Year" accolade... Score: 8.5 / 10

So, what else is there to look forward to? The Thing (Prequel)? Errr, one of those teen-vampire things? If this is "all she wrote", we certainly go out on a high.
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A surprise parcel was waiting for me when I got back from work - the BluRay triple-pack of X-Men First Class! That provided me with the perfect break material whilst working on my craft project - after something of a false start, things advanced really well, although I have a bit more sewing to do than planned. I do have a day more than expected to complete the job - Monday kept ringing bells, but that's Hallowe'en, not November 1st.

I'll do a bit more sewing while BBC3 sticks on some American Dad, then an early-ish bed, before tomorrow's shopping-trip/binturong-spotting expedition...
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The Learning Curve continues, as Brighthawk and The Paragon explore the mystery of The Eternian's whereabouts. Meanwhile, the mission to bring peace and stability to The Contested Sectors enters a new phase...

Release Notes... It's said that no good deed goes unpunished. Stay tuned for the testing of that particular saying...

Elsewhat... Right, that's Captain America and X-Men First Class pre-ordered as I continue getting the home releases of this year's best blockbusters - and I add last year's Iron Man 2 to the collection as well. Still no comics yet, but one of my recent purchases arrived this afternoon. I now have something to work on that's not covered by a Mission 101 Task. I'll be covering this in more detail as things develop.

Now to find some time to get to work on some of these projects... if the weather holds (which I somehow doubt it will), maybe I can get myself an extended weekend, and maybe knock off a zoo-related Task or several...
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It really wasn't that much of a surprise that there wasn't much work to do, so I had an early finish. Not that I had much chance to capitalise on that, courtesy of the end-of-week shopping...

However, there was a bit of a surprise waiting for me at home this afternoon; a package from Amazon - but I wasn't expecting anything - until I remembered that I pre-ordered the triple-pack BluRay of THOR.

And that was the whole evening dealt with in one padded bag. except for putting a bit more work into my Mission 101 bookbinding Task (85). I could have the Task down for a *SCORE* by the end of the month...!
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Review: Apollo 18... Like Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield before it, Apollo 18 takes the "recovered footage" path to concoct an intriguing story - what if Apollo 17 wasn't the last manned mission to the moon...?

Allergy Warning: May Contain Spoilers... )

The Final Word... Grey. Grim. VERY effective. Best watched without moths or students - an enjoyable finale to Blockbuster Season! Score: 8 / 10
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We lost our power earlier (until past the start time for CSI Miami), and that cost me an Ultima Online session. As a result, we paid an unexpected, but warmly received visit to my nephew, in perhaps the only house in the street with power.

Any catch-up tomorrow's gonna have to take a back seat to my going to see Apollo 18 - pity that Troll Hunter seems to be "MIA", probably until DVD release. Next up is most likely the prequel to The Thing, which will really have to go some to beat the '80s genre-defining version - is CGI really going to be enough? It won't be long 'til we find out.

So, that's the evening pretty much knackered, then. Let's try this again tomorrow.
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ITEM! Saturday is looking... better (could be about the best day of the "summer"), and that means Mission 101 Task 4 could still be a goer. This time tomorrow, I'll make my decision - and stick by it.

ITEM! And so, Torchwood - Miracle Day nears its conclusion, and whilst the story has thrown up some interesting questions - how do you deal with people who simply will not die? - it's taken too many episodes to do not a whole lot. The very fact that tonight's episode began with "Two months later" and at the end, we still have very few answers, except for the involvement of *SPOILERS* some colossal Earth-penetrating vagina or whatever the hell that was supposed to be *END SPOILERS*. I suspect the last episode will be heavy on decompression, and light on resolution, which is a big shame for such a grand concept.

The previous series, Children Of Earth was better.

ITEM! I rather get the feeling that Apollo 18 and Troll Hunter might not make it to my local cinema at all, just like Monsters last year, and my opinions for seeing Apollo 18 at all are drying up pretty rapidly...

Hey, even late night showings might be worth a go. If I can stay awake, of course - at least I'd have some kind of excuse today, in that there were footsteps on my bedroom roof at around 7am this morning. This was, however, expected...
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ITEM! How about a webcomic created solely in IMVU? I have "in-game" money, so why not create a fully-equipped stage set? It's not as though anything else is happening with it...

ITEM! On the movie front: Apollo 18 + Troll Hunter = double-header? Cowboys And Aliens I utterly fail to have any enthusiasm for.

ITEM! I've been trying to work out a way to get the latest chapters of the main projects listed on the "front page" - "Recently, on THE DARKHAWK DIARIES", "Recently, on THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF MANE-OF-NIGHT" and so on. I was suspecting some kind of RSS arrangement, but for now, a Twitter feed will suffice... as long as I keep it updated. Research will, of course, continue.

And finally... 2012 isn't looking at all bad for movies right now - I've seen very positive trailers for Ghost Rider - Spirit Of Vengeance and John Carter (of Mars)...
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Development News... Chapter 4 of TDD-702 now has a big *tick* next to it, nestling sleepily in the DONE column. Yup, it took another "6am start" to get this far, but at least I'm making use of the time - and I'll be falling asleep before too long. In "the frame" for being slept through right now is The Cleveland Show...

Yup, there I go...

Okay - awake again. Now, where was I...?

Apollo 18? Troll Hunter? Are we looking at a "Son Of Blockbusters 2011"? A potential double-header...?

And what's this? The Redskins are 2-0 in pre-season? Will that form continue into the imminent regular season? Will we get any TV coverage this year...?
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Blockbuster Season 2011 may be almost over, but tonight, it showed that even at the end, there are gems to be unearthed. Last year it was Scott Pilgrim, this time round, it's Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes...

Return To The Planet Of The Spoilers...! )

The Final Word: Washes away any remain sour taste that might have lingered since Tim Burton's Apes offering in entertaining and topical fashion. Roll on the continuation... Score: 8.5/10
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Today started a good deal earlier than I planned with one of those early wake-ups. I decided, rather than lie awake and wait for the day to catch up with me, I was going to try and get some writing in.

Some hope. Quite simply, I had nothing. So I finished reading Equal Rites and waited for the alarm to go off...

Lunchtime saw more success - almost a whole screen's worth! The start of something satisfactory? Something I can continue working on at home?

Yeah, right. I went on a "bug hunt" in the office before dinner, and whilst I found nothing living, there was limited evidence of a previous presence, discovered just as I thought I could declare a provisional "all clear". I therefore did not enjoy my dinner.

There's a spider in the office. Not a huge one, but visible. I've decided that, as long as it stays out of sight, and away from my stuff, it can live, and hopefully feast on any truly unwelcome interlopers.

Think I'll get away from it all for a while - Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes is still showing...
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So I didn't go out after all. The jobs I'd planned to fit in before leaving took longer than expected, and that was pretty much it. Couldn't even find a way, or the motivation, to squeeze in a trip to the movies for Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.

This is the first of me switching on a computer "in anger", however, as I've been preparing some recovered notebook paper for my book-making Mission 101 task (Task 85). Cover card - check... cover leather - check... glue - check... pages - check. At least that's one task I've been able to advance in my two week slot.

Highlight of the day was probably catching a chunk of a Smallville episode called "Crossfire", and realising that the prostitute character is actually wearing a pair of boots exactly like ones I just happen to own. Nice.

Updated with mini screen caps... )

Project shopping is nailed down for next weekend, whatever the weather. Annoyingly, this may end up impacting on movie-going plans - unless I can arrange to catch some Apes during the week. Could be the final trip this blockbuster season...

And I am REALLY starting to HATE this screwed-up chair. Almost sitting on the floor right now...
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Okay, as promised...

Review: Super 8 I managed to miss a lot of the hype concerning this movie, partly out of a desire to avoid any spoilers, as it opened in The States several weeks before the UK, so I came to this with uncoloured expectations. The feedback seemed to be good, but one person's "must see movie of the summer" is another's "I'll catch it on DVD". This veers closer to the latter than the former.

WARNING - Spoilers! )

Final Opinion... Must try harder. The finished home-movie, shown at the end over the credits, was almost better (except for the "train-crash") Score: 7/10
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*surveys the damage*

News... Watched Cloverfield in HD on the new TV last night - and joy I could actually see what was going on!

Looks like I may need to get a Blu-Ray player to hook up with it. Hooray for the new ARGOS catalogue!

P.S. It appears that Super 8 is getting the heavy push as "the family movie of the summer". Looks VERY promising...
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Checking the situation. Posting regular blogs at

- visit now for the Captain America review!
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Just watching a program on the last Space Shuttle flight, and seeing the launch, I found myself thinking "Just how long will it be until I get another chance to see a launch like that, something of that historic magnitude, for real?"

NASA better have some kind of star-gate technology up their sleeves. That, or Bill Gates ready to spend vast sums of money to maintain the International Space Station.

Elsewhat... Aha - now we're getting trailers for mystery-laden period alien-encounter picture Super 8, which opened in the States a month and a half ago. Being non-3D, it might just be a "surprise" hit with all the 3D nay-sayers - and it could mean I end up going to the movies two weeks in a row. Right now, I'm waiting on new of when Captain America - The First Avenger gets a big-screen airing on opening day anywhere near me...

Sports News... Congrats are due to Lewis Hamilton for an excellent win at the German Grand Prix, and Mark Cavendish for winning the closing stage of the Tour de France, and clinching the Green Jersey for winner of the points competition in about the only part of the whole race I've managed to see - again. Cavendish's triumph marks the first time a UK rider has won that particular competition, and the race win by Cadel Evans marks a milestone for Australian cycling too - their first Tour winner!

And finally... Must see what I can do to advance my Mission 101 this week - another month is coming to an end, and I have little to show for it. The Move isn't really a valid excuse any more.

I may just take an early break from computer stuff to look into the matter.
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So, What On Tonight...? Well, I'm thinking of sneaking in a viewing of Monsters, after a session of Ultima Online training. After that... who knows? I'm glad for anything approaching "normal", and that's how things are generally going at present - but I do feel the need to address the PC issue sometime fairly soon. I've been meaning to deal with my archaic technology for some time, and I was saving all my tech-spends for The Move, so I guess I should take the plunge.

Meanwhile, it looks like Potter 7.2 is going to be a fixture for quite a while, with 2D and 3D showings for at least the next week. Captain America - The First Avenger opens in the US this weekend, and one week later over here, so maybe - just maybe - the "Pottergasm" (*shudders* - did I just invent something terrible...?) will be subsiding by then. To make way for the surge of anti-American feeling about "another movie in which America wins the war"...

So many people are going to totally miss the point with this. You can be sure of it. I, on the other hand, will take the day off to see "Cap", if I need to go out of town to catch a big-screen showing on opening day.

Concerning NEXT YEAR'S Blockbusters... I just saw the first trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man, and... well, it looks okay, but why rerun - and retool - the whole origin story? Critics hate them, and surely you can do better than replough old ground...

Maybe material for a double-header. I can't see myself rushing to see this, somehow.

Okay, better head off to Sosaria if I want to get anything done before 9pm.
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A Star Is Rising reaches its conclusion, as Task Force Tisiphone uncover the truth of what happened to the missing stealth ship, and it's a truth not many will want to hear - but some don't take too long to find out...

Release Notes... The last character to be introduced in this story had to be renamed at the last moment, as her previous name had already been used quite a while ago!

Back In The Real World... Well, there goes the neighbourhood. RAF Leuchars is to close, and be replaced by an army barracks - after all the campaigning to save it, and the millions spent on extending the runway for the Eurofighter. That is going to hit this area REALLY hard - not that the fucking Tories give a shit.

They better not send any Ministers or MPs to Fife. They'll get torn to fucking pieces. And I'll be there to witness it. That would help me out nicely with a Mission 101 Task or two.

Meanwhile... On a lighter note; remember yesterday, when I said
ITEM! I'm thinking the Transformers 3 first-week box office bonanza will be severely eclipsed by HP7.2. Maybe £15-16 million? Saturday 2pm at the NPH was PACKED - and giving applause as the titles rolled...
- well, forget that. £16 million? Try £23 million...
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My, what a lovely "relaxing" Sunday. Okay, the right curtains are up in their proper places, and a bunch more windows now work properly, but all that counted for naught following a "chocolate cake vs. carpet" incident. I'll say no more, expect for "crisis semi-averted" - although I'm sure I'll have a sore neck tomorrow from all that curtain hanging...

Okay, now for some more calm, reasoned bitlets...

ITEM! Got a bit more writing done this morning. Would do more if I could get these sodding blinds to work - I mean, I'm cooking here.

ITEM! I'm thinking the Transformers 3 first-week box office bonanza will be severely eclipsed by HP7.2. Maybe £15-16 million? Saturday 2pm at the NPH was PACKED - and giving applause as the titles rolled.

ITEM! I appear to have been excused my self-imposed "debt" associated with the "new" boiler at Number 99 (see my Mission 101, Task 92). This would mean I'm a good deal better off than I expected to be right now - maybe I can afford a much better PC now. Perhaps a new pair of boots, too.

ITEM! Note to self - COMIC ORDER.

ITEM! Rather amusing to see someone spend credits on a "shoutout" in IMVU, only for it to feature a mispelling of the user-name. Repeatedly.
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A Star Is Rising continues, as the Mutual Defence Imperative start asking questions, and it's time for one of our heroes to step forward, while Brighthawk presides over a gathering of those she's been told she can call upon...

Release Notes... And that's us back on some kind of schedule!

Now that's out of the way, back to today's entertainment...

Review: Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part II... Here we go - what is going to be THE biggest movie of the year, no matter what...

There may be spoilers - but you probably know the story already... )

The Final Verdict... The saga ends in style, and most satisfactorally. Job done, and done well. Score: 8/10

Right, now it's time to kick back, and give other matters some thought. Some reorganisation of sh8 has been carried out, and more is in the offing - there are curtains to swap, and who knows what else...?

June 2017

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